[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 9 February 2011 Wednesday

SLB slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Feb 9 17:55:01 PHT 2011

Newsbriefs 9 February 2011 Wednesday

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan

DOJ probe on AFP corruption to push through (ABS-CBN News)

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Justice (DOJ) will press on with its probe into alleged corruption in the military in spite of the suicide of former Armed Forces chief of staff and former defense chief Angelo Reyes.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said in an interview with reporters on Wednesday (Feb. 8) morning that the probe "is not just about Reyes" thus the need to continue with it.

"We grieve with the [Reyes] family, but we have a higher issue to confront," De Lima said.

House wants Garcia plea deal withdrawn (www.philstar.com)

MANILA, Philippines - Lawmakers yesterday urged Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez to withdraw the controversial plea bargain agreement between former military comptroller Carlos Garcia and government prosecutors.

The lawmakers made the collective call on Gutierrez as the House committee on justice yesterday terminated its investigation into the alleged massive corruption in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Garcia's plea bargaining agreement.

Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas, vice chairman of the committee, said the panel agreed during the executive session to terminate the inquiry and approved the resolution urging Gutierrez to withdraw the plea bargain agreement.

Fariñas, however, said he personally opposed the resolution since it might be "misinterpreted as interfering in judicial procedures or in an active case."

4 sites in Camp Aguinaldo eyed for Reyes wake (ABS-CBN News)

MANILA, Philippines - Despite killing himself, former chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and former Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Angelo Reyes is set to be given full military honors.

In a joint AFP-DND press conference, AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta, said that representatives of the military met with the Reyes family Tuesday night and offered 4 sites in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City as a venue for the wake.

Among the sites that were offered were the St. Ignatius Church, the AFP Theater, the AFP Grandstand, and the AFP Canopy.

The AFP said that if they get the consent of the Reyes family, they will also give full military honors to their former chief of staff and former secretary of national defense.

Heidi Mendoza bares more AFP fund misuse (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines-Former state auditor Heidi Mendoza Tuesday detailed more irregularities in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), particularly the use of P120 million from United Nations funds for the supposed repair of a C130 aircraft.

Appearing for the second time at a House justice committee hearing Tuesday, Mendoza told how half of the P1.8 billion in funds for AFP modernization was apparently used to buy paper, but she later said this was part of a conversion scheme.

Also detailed in her report were transactions on the double charging of fuel expenses against the Balikatan and UN funds, and the questionable transactions for food and transportation that went to the same set of suppliers.

Mendoza also stuck by her belief that her findings implicated former military comptroller Carlos Garcia, who was charged with plunder. The transactions she investigated took place during the years that Garcia was Armed Forces comptroller.

Cimatu denies receiving 'pabaon,' ready to face probe (www.gmanews.tv)


Former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Roy Cimatu denied receiving millions of pesos as "pabaon" (sendoff gift) upon his retirement from the military, even as he said he is ready to face an investigation into the matter.

Radio dzBB reported Wednesday Cimatu made the denial as he arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport from the Middle East past 10 p.m. Tuesday night.

Cimatu, special envoy to the Middle East, was instructed to return to the country. He arrived on an Emirates flight from Dubai.

The report quoted Cimatu as saying he is ready to face an investigation on the matter to end the controversy once and for all.


Calls to abolish PMA mount (www.philstar.com)

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines - Calls for the abolition of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) are mounting even as the institution gets ready to celebrate its foundation day over the weekend here.

Reviving a call by Surigao del Sur Rep. Philip Pichay last November to divide the military institution into major command academies, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teodoro Casiño is calling for a review of Asia's premier military academy.

On the heels of controversy surrounding the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Casiño said that abolition of the PMA should be considered.


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